Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Family Stories That Bind Us — This Life - NYTimes.com

The Family Stories That Bind Us — This Life - NYTimes.com

Gathering places, like the dinner table, for example, can be a meeting place for stories, as well.  Not just the pleasant recollections but also the not so pleasant ones.  For example, in the last days of my mother's life, my sister and brother and I shared our remembrance of bad times and good.  Our thoughts always came back to how my mother had brought the family through those times, how she always seemed to be the glue that held us together.  She was a survivor and she dragged us with her, forward and upward.

Sometimes being a hero, being a brave soldier, and being the one who holds on is more about staying in the race rather than winning it.  As the holidays descend upon us, let us use those "gathering times" and "gathering places" to tell the stories, both good and bad.  They will make us stronger and chase the shadows away for our children and/or grandchildren.

Headstone Symbolism | Symbols on Headstones Demystified

Headstone Symbolism | Symbols on Headstones Demystified

Here, at this site, you will find items that were utilized as symbols that reflected the life and/or death of the individual and the mindset of those left behind.  The list is kind of lengthy or I would have printed it out.  Still, I think that it will be a propeller to drive you in your search of cemeteries.

Campfire stories may have sparked early societal learning - LA Times

Campfire stories may have sparked early societal learning - LA Times

You will find that this article has been picked up by a number of publications.  What theme do you see presented in the article?  How does it remind you of some personal experiences you may have had in the past?

Firelight Talk Of The Kalahari Bushmen Helped Human Culture And Thought - Science News - redOrbit

Firelight Talk Of The Kalahari Bushmen Helped Human Culture And Thought - Science News - redOrbit

How have campfires enriched your cultural traditions?  I remember that long ago (I am so old, now!), as I was growing up, bonfires on the beach were a well-established practice.  Now, they are illegal.  Extending the light of the day after a glorious sunset was bonding experience for teenagers, families, groups.  I also remember going to Girls' Camp in the LDS church.  Our campfire was the connection that drew us into a circle of hopes, fears, and love. 
Camp Fire
 


Now, can you think of other lights that gather and warm your heart, that promote the exercise of imagination and the pull of gathering?  A fireplace is still a good thing in the homes of those who live in Northwest Florida.  Our homes get cold in the winter, believe it or not; some tease that we are really in Southeast Alabama.  Our winter was extremely cold.

Whether you have a fire pit or a fireplace or only hold candles--tell the tales of your ancestors, tell your stories.  Reflect the light of those who went before and draw closer to family members and friends in the cold months ahead.